Stomach pain can be caused by many diseases.
There are many ways to describe the discomfort in the abdomen: abdominal pain, stomach pain, belly pain , etc.
Most of us feel pain in the stomach from time to time, when you do indigestion , take a virus or eat something that does not do well.
Fortunately, most abdominal problems are not serious and home treatment is enough.
In some cases, however, stomach pain can be a symptom of a serious illness and need to go to the doctor.
The stomach can cause a referred pain in the neck and anyone suffering from cervical pain should consider the stomach among the less frequent causes.
There are several diseases that can cause upset stomach.
- 1 Gastroesophageal reflux
- 2 Lactose intolerance
- 3 Malabsorption of fructose or malabsorption of fructose
- 4 Chewing gum
- 5 Gastritis
- 6 Medications and alcohol
- 7 Helicobacter pylori
- 8 Peptic ulcers
- 9 Celiac disease
- 10 Indigestion
- 11 Gastroenteritis
- 12 Food poisoning
- 13 Stomach cancer
- 14 Stomach cramps
- 15 Sudden cramping with diarrhea
Common Causes of Stomach Pain
Are most people buying over-the-counter remedies instead of watching what they eat? You can take antacids occasionally, but if you are taking acidic medications in the morning, at noon and at night, you probably suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic disease caused by gastric acid that moves from the stomach to the esophagus, usually due to a weakness in the muscle valve between the stomach and the esophagus.
Scientific studies show that over 20 percent of all Western sufferers suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms.
Pregnant women have a relaxation of the sphincter muscle between the esophagus and stomach, so it is easier for the gastric juices to rise towards the mouth.
The first step to health consists of lifestyle changes, such as improving nutrition.
Some foods like citrus fruits, tomatoes, tomato sauce, chocolate, caffeinated beverages and wines can trigger gastroesophageal reflux symptoms.
To help with the treatment of GERD, your doctor can ask the patient to keep a food diary for two weeks. In this way it is possible to identify which foods will give particular problems.
One trick to reduce stomach cramps: Eat high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains by limiting saturated fats.
A study from Baylor College of Medicine concluded that people who follow the high fiber diet (at least 20 grams per day) have a 20% chance of less suffering from gastroesophageal reflux symptoms, and those who ate a low diet in saturated fat is less likely.
Many people have a right or left diaphragm contracture.
Scientists do not know the causes, but certainly feeding is important because the diaphragm is related to the stomach, liver and other abdominal organs through ligaments.
The diaphragm is the main respiratory muscle, so also the lung and bronchial problems can affect (for example, chronic cough ).
Symptoms include the following:
For the diagnosis, the doctor’s visit is sufficient, the doctor feels the rigid muscles in the palpation.
Therapy is manual, massages or diaphragm manipulations are necessary. For example, you can do a fascial manipulation of Stecco, the deactivation of trigger points (painful spots on palpation, which also give irradiated pain) or the techniques of osteopathy associated with breathing.
One person in four has difficulty digesting lactose, a sugar found naturally in dairy products like milk, ice cream and soft cheeses.
If you suspect that stomach gas or bloating is a consequence of lactose intolerance , you can avoid dairy products for two weeks to see if your symptoms improve.
Still not sure?
Ask your doctor about the hydrogen breath test in which you breathe out in a bag after drinking a drink containing lactose. High levels of hydrogen indicate that the patient is lactose intolerant. But even in this case, you do not have to give up these products.
Yogurt and hard cheeses are the easiest way to solve the problem.
Yogurt contains enzymes that help digest lactose and hard cheese does not contain too much lactose.
According to researchers at Purdue University, it is possible to improve your digestive system to digest lactose by consuming small amounts of milk several times a day for three to four weeks.
Alternatively, you can try drinking lactose-free milk or taking Lactaid tablets before eating dairy products; Both contain lactase, the enzyme that destroys lactose.
Malabsorption of fructose or malabsorption of fructose
A University of Kansas medical center has done a study that finds nearly half of patients complaining about the unexplained presence of gas and bloating in the stomach after eating 25 grams of fructose (plain sugar found in fruits).
These symptoms were actually caused by fructose intolerance, it may be that the body of these people can not properly digest the fructose.
As lactose intolerance, this disease can be diagnosed with a breath test.
If you suffer from fructose intolerance, the first thing you should do is not to eat products that contain fructose, such as apple juice.
We should not avoid fruit completely, but maybe you need to avoid some types.
We should limit the intake of fruits particularly rich in fructose, such as apples and bananas.
An average apple has about 8 grams of fructose, a medium banana has almost 6, a glass of melon cubes have 3 and apricots have less than a gram each.
Another strategy: split the servings of fruits every day so you do not eat everything in one meal to avoid stomach pain.
Some people chew the gum to avoid snacking.
Believe it or not, chewing gum is a leading cause of stomach ache.
Frequently swallowing too much air can cause gas and bloating, “explains Christine Frissora, MD, a gastroenterologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
In addition, some sugar-free gums contain sorbitol, a sweetener, only small amounts can contribute to bloating the stomach. Sorbitol puts water in the intestine, this can cause bloating in high doses and diarrhea .
A study published in the journal Gastroenterology noted that only 10 grams of sorbitol ( the equivalent of some unsweetened sweets ) cause stomach bloating, while 20 grams can cause cramps and diarrhea.
And it is possible to replace sorbitol with: maltitol, mannitol and xylitol, it is found in gum without sugar as we low-carbohydrate products.
The gastritis is a group of disorders with one thing in common: the inflammation of the inner wall of the stomach.
The inflammation of gastritis is usually the result of infection p or Helicobacter pylorithat causes most stomach ulcers .
However, other factors such as trauma, regular use of anti-inflammatory drugs and drinking too much alcohol worsens the symptoms of gastritis.
The anxiety and stress can cause gastritis, along with many other symptoms.
Gastritis is related to pain in the spine ( back ) because the nerves that reach the stomach are between the fourth and eighth thoracic vertebra .
A nervous tension at this level can cause symptoms even if the stomach is inflamed
Gastritis can occur suddenly (acute gastritis) or may occur gradually over time (chronic gastritis).
The pain is mainly felt on an empty stomach.
In some cases, gastritis can cause ulcers and an increased risk of stomach cancer. For most people this disease is not serious and it improves quickly with treatment.
The treatment of gastritis depends on the specific cause. Acute gastritis caused by drugs or alcohol can be attenuated by stopping the use of these substances. Chronic gastritis caused by Helicobacter pylori infection resolves with bacterial eradication. Most gastritis treatment programs include medications that treat heartburn (antacids) to reduce signs and symptoms and promote healing of the stomach.
Medications and alcohol
Some drugs irritate the inner wall of the stomach causing pain and heartburn.
These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), sodium naproxen, cortisone (like prednisone), and alcohol.
Other drugs can cause colic, diarrhea, and constipation. These include anti-diarrheal supplements, laxatives, antibiotics, and iron supplements .
Those who do not usually suffer from stomach pain may experience pain if they drink too much alcohol.
The pain in the stomach usually passes the day after the hangover.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that causes infection in the stomach.
It is found in about two-thirds of the world’s population.
It can be transmitted with water and infected food, but scholars are not sure.
Helicobacter pylori causes peptic ulcer and can also cause stomach cancer .
Those who have symptoms of a peptic ulcer should have blood tests , breathing tests , and stool tests to see if they contain H. pylori.
The best treatment is a combination of antibiotics and antacids. You need to repeat the test after treatment to make sure the infection has gone.
To help prevent infection by h. pylori, you should:
- Wash hands after using the toilet and before eating,
- Eat properly prepared food,
- Drink water from a clean and safe source.
Peptic ulcer develops when the digestive fluid in the stomach corrodes the inner wall of the digestive tract.
They may form on the inner wall of the stomach or on the duodenum near the stomach.
A person with a gastric ulcer there is always heartburn or sudden pain between the navel and the sternum that decreases taking antacids.
Other symptoms include bloating , nausea or vomiting after eating, loss of appetite , weight loss and black stools (blood digested).
A medical appointment is necessary to diagnose a peptic ulcer.
Medications are often used effectively to treat and relieve symptoms.
In severe cases, a hole may form in the stomach or intestine and an ulcer can cause significant bleeding in the digestive tract.
When this happens, you may need surgery.
Among the natural remedies, herbal tea or infusion of chamomile can help reduce the symptoms.
About one in 133 in the United States suffers from celiac disease , also known as gluten intolerance.
In people with celiac disease, gluten (found in wheat, rye, barley and many packaged products) triggers an autoimmune reaction that causes the production of antibodies that attack the intestinal villi.
The villi are small bumps similar to the hair that are found in the gut to absorb vitamins, minerals and water.
Over time, these villi are damaged, causing abdominal cramps and bloating of the stomach that prevents the absorption of nutrients.
Celiac disease causes deficiencies of vitamins and minerals, as well as diseases such as anemia and osteoporosis.
There is also a strong genetic link: the disease occurs in 5-15 percent of children and siblings of celiac.
Generally, this disease appears in children or in adults between 30 and 40 years.
Although the diagnosis can be made through a simple blood antibody test, often celiac disease is not diagnosed because the symptoms mimic those of other diseases that cause stomach pain, such as lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome .
There are women with celiac disease who have suffered terrible pains for years without getting the diagnosis or the doctors said that the symptoms were in their heads or related to stress.
Treatment is a diet in which we eliminate grains such as barley, rye and wheat.
Following a gluten-free diet is incredibly difficult: you may need to make an appointment with the nutritionist to find out what to eat.
As soon as you change the diet, the symptoms and stomach pain go away.
Gluten-free foods are available at health food stores, drugstores and some restaurants.
The poor digestion is a generic term describing symptoms such as widespread pain, bloating, belching, nausea and loss of appetite.
It is normal for most people who have difficulty digesting from time to time.
It can be treated with over-the-counter medications, baking soda or bypassing the foods that cause it.
Many people who do not have stomach pain when digesting certain foods suffer from stomach pain, usually a few hours after the meal (at night).
An example that often happens is a stomach ache after eating prawns.
Those who suffer from chronic indigestion should go to the doctor to further the situation.
Gastroenteritis can be caused by bacteria, viruses or poisons. It occurs when the stomach and intestine becomes inflamed.
Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. Gastroenteritis can disappear within a day or two without medical treatment, but in some cases can last a long time.
Often people traveling in hot or tropical countries have traveler’s diarrhea and gastroenteritis because they feed on drink or contaminated food.
In particular, drinking drinks made with ice made from tap water is one of the most common causes.
Symptoms can be mild and intermittent for a week or two, can become a rather serious problem.
Home treatment should avoid the effects of the disease such as dehydration .
After taking medicines for fever (such as paracetamol), nausea or vomiting (plastil), the most important thing is to follow a diet that does not favor diarrhea (eg rice, carrots, bananas, etc.).
Food poisoning occurs when we eat food contaminated with viruses, bacteria or chemicals. In general, the symptoms are mild or moderate pain, cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.
It may start after an hour or four days after eating contaminated food.
Additional symptoms such as headache , fever and chills , starting 12 to 48 hours after eating and indicate viral food poisoning.
Symptoms of chemical food poisoning are perspiration , dizziness , excessive salivation and mental confusion that occur about 30 minutes after eating contaminated food.
In botulism, a rare but serious form of bacterial intoxication, people have a partial loss of ability to speak or sight, muscle weakness , difficulty swallowing, dry mouthand muscle paralysis.
Most food poisoning heal only with the home treatment.
However, you need to go to the doctor if you recognize the symptoms of food poisoning, botulism or if the symptoms are severe and last for more than two days.
Stomach cancer is the abnormal growth of a group of cells that form a tumor in a part of the stomach.
In most cases, it refers to cancer that begins in the mucus-producing cells of the stomach (adenocarcinoma).
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
In the early stages of stomach cancer, it may have some symptoms.
Among these symptoms are:
- Disturbance in the stomach and indigestion,
- A feeling of swelling after eating,
- Mild nausea,
- Loss of appetite,
A stomach cancer can grow and become very large before it causes other symptoms.
In more advanced cancer, there may be:
- Stomach pain strong and constant.
- Blood in stool (stool is black).
- Vomiting, even blood.
- Weight loss.
- Pain or bloating in the stomach after eating.
- Weakness or tiredness associated with mild anemia (lack of red blood cells).
Stomach cramps are often due to arrest and swelling.
This is a very common problem that can be embarrassing but cures easily. The pharmacist is able to advise an antispasmodic such as buscopan or mebeverine(Duspatalin), which can be bought as over-the-counter medication to treat this symptom.
Sudden cramping with diarrhea
If cramps have started recently and there is also diarrhea, the cause is probably an intestinal virus (gastroenteritis).
This means that there is a viral or bacterial infection of the stomach and intestines.
Without treatment, if it improves after a few days.
A common cause of gastroenteritis is norovirus.
Stomach pains and diarrhea that cause severe discomfort (for example, if they cause fever or chills) can be caused by a more serious infection such as food poisoning.
This symptom usually improves even without treatment.
If stomach pains and diarrhea continue for more than a few days, you may have a long-term illness, such as irritable bowel syndrome.